The city of Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona. With a population of almost 1.5 million, it is the sixth most heavily populated city within the US and the country's biggest capital city. By land area, it is the biggest city in the nation. The Phoenix metropolitan area is known as the Valley of the Sun and has a population of about 4.2 million. The city of Phoenix serves as the county seat of Maricopa County.
The Hohokam people were the first inhabitants of what eventually became Phoenix. The original non-native settlers established a farming community in 1861 near the Salt River. Phoenix was officially recognized as a township during 1868, then incorporated as a city during 1881. Since the mid-20th Century, a lot of the agricultural lands of the area have been replaced by suburbs since the population has burgeoned.
The city of Phoenix is both the county seat and the state capital. The governmental institutions provide significant jobs to the city and play a key part in the economy. The city's two largest employers are the Arizona State and the U.S. military. A lot of local people are working at Luke Air Force Base in the west suburbs of Phoenix. Arizona State University is an asset to Phoenix and is responsible for growing research capacities.
In the past, Phoenix was dependent on five resources known as the "5Cs": climate, copper, cattle, cotton and citrus. The economy has diversified from its five traditional resources to include a significant high-tech and telecommunications sectors. Intel has a huge Phoenix labor force, consisting of about 10,000 individuals. Intel makes computer chips in water fabrication plants, several of which are situated in the valley. The headquarters of Honeywell's Aerospace division are in the city of Phoenix, and many of Honeywell's avionics and mechanical facilities are located in the metro area. Seven Fortune 500 companies are situated within Phoenix: Apollo Group, Allied Waste, Avnet, Freeport-McMoRan, PetSmart and Pinnacle West.
The cornerstone of the city's recreational and tourism industries is the game of golf. The warmer winter weather condition patterns help to attract golfers from colder climates. Phoenix also has the following sectors: transportation, utilities and trade; business and professional services; hospitality and leisure; educational and health services; financial services; and manufacturing.